Sparks fly over Finnmark mining

While local elected officials were celebrating with cake, protests poured in over the Conservative state government’s decision on Thursday to finally allow mining operations on a mountain plateau in Finnmark. It’s expected to generate 300 new jobs in the area, but can also disrupt Samis’ reindeer grazing while dumping debris and tailings into the fjord […]

Sami celebrations spanned the nation

Sami flags were flying all over Norway on Tuesday as the country’s indigenous people celebrated their own national day. From Oslo’s City Hall to remote areas of Finnmark, more Sami elebrations were planned than ever before. The vast majority were, not surprisingly, taking place in the northern regions of Norway, where the majority of Sami […]

Sami president hails cultural pride

Norway’s Sami population faces another important year ahead, claimed the president of Sametinget (The Sami Parliament), Aili Keskitalo, in her traditional New Year’s address this week. She led off her speech by hailing a 96-year-old woman for bravely shaking off years of Norwegian indoctrination, and reviving her Sami heritage after 70 years of suppressing it. […]

Joke about Sami backfires

A Sami member of the Conservative Party’s youth organization Unge Høyre has resigned in protest over what he calls an offensive proposal at the organization’s national meeting over the weekend. Others are offended, too. Nils Kristian Winther told state broadcaster NRK he was resigning after another member, Tobias Strandskog of the Hordaland chapter proposed that […]

Sami protest windmill project

Demonstrators led by Sami reindeer herders blocked access to a construction site for what’s been billed as the largest windmill project in Europe this week. They claim the windmills at Storheia on the Fosen Peninsula in Trøndelag will violate the rights of Sami as an indigenous people, along with disturbing the natural environment. The protesters […]

Sami celebrations marred by decline

Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami, celebrated their national day this month amidst reports that their population may again be threatened by decline. State statistics bureau SSB revealed data showing little if any growth in traditionally Sami areas, and risks that population levels will sink. “What’s of most concern is that a large portion of the […]

Colourful opening of Sami Parliament

Two days after the new Norwegian Parliament opened amidst traditional pomp and circumstance in Oslo this week, the country’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) opened in its own blaze of colour and with the monarch present. Both legislative bodies take their traditions seriously. King Harald V and Crown Prince Haakon were welcomed to Sametinget in Karasjok, Northern […]

Major changes at Sami Parliament

While Norway’s new national parliament has been reorganizing and getting back to work after the September 11 election, the Sami Parliament in Finnmark (Sametinget) has been doing the same. Aili Keskitalo of the Norske Samers Riksforbund (NSR) party was elected as Sametinget’s new president on Thursday after the election ushered in major political change. Keskitalo […]

Sami election can win more voters

Norway’s upcoming parliamentary election isn’t the only one stirring up political campaigns at present: The country’s indigenous Sami are also gearing for an election to their own parliament, Sámediggi/Sametinget in Karasjok, and it stands to attract more voters this year. A total of 16,958 people over the voting age of 18 in Norway are now registered […]

Sami want their language on all schools’ curriculum

The president of the Sami Parliament, Vibeke Larsen, wants the Norwegian government to make the Sami language an obligatory part of the curriculum in the country’s elementary schools. Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen called the proposal unrealistic, because a lack of nationwide competence in Sami would make it difficult to implement. Larsen grabbed headlines when she broadcast her […]